The Comparison Sweet Spot

First of all, I’m in camp: comparison is at the root of all unhappiness.

However, there is a comparison sweet spot that can be healthy and motivational.

The modern day dilemma is that most of the comparison that happens in our digital, ever-connected lives is with people who are in completely different leagues than us.

Why? Because it’s the best in the game—across all domains—who get the most view time on media platforms.

It’s the most fit athletes, the most attractive influencers, the most witty entertainers, the most successful business people, the most risky stunts people, etc. who capture and keep the most attention.

It only makes sense.

What we need to be conscious of is when it doesn’t make sense for us and our mental health.

And when it doesn’t make sense is when we’re aspiring to be more fit and we’re comparing ourselves to the million follower athlete. Or when we’re an aspiring side hustler and we’re comparing ourselves to the full-time, six-figure, media-empire-content-creator. Or when we’re an aspiring writer and we’re comparing ourselves to Stephen King.

See, nothing squashes motivation faster than putting yourself up against somebody who you know you don’t stand a chance against.

Where the motivation scales tip in our favor, however, is when we compare ourselves to people who are only a few steps ahead of us; people who we feel we have a chance against; people who, with a little more work, we might catch.

We don’t become a pro right out of the gate. We get really good at the amateur level and work our way up—slowly. The same should be strictly followed in our digital lives, too.


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